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Journal of the International Association for Semiotic Studies / Revue de l'Association Internationale de Sémiotique

Editor-in-Chief: Danesi, Marcel

SCImago Journal Rank (SJR) 2015: 0.275
Source Normalized Impact per Paper (SNIP) 2015: 0.661
Impact per Publication (IPP) 2015: 0.191

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Art, land, and the gendering of Parnassus

Donald Preziosi1


Citation Information: Semiotica. Volume 2009, Issue 175, Pages 177–191, ISSN (Online) 1613-3692, ISSN (Print) 0037-1998, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/semi.2009.046, June 2009

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Is a landscape (whether “sacred” or not) gendered? Do artifacts — or for that matter built environments as such — mark, gender or even “queer” a landscape? Are there “male,” “female,” or gender-ambivalent forms or spaces? This article reflects on the evidence for the gradual transformation, over several centuries and culminating in the classical period of art and architecture, of the ancient sanctuary of Delphi from being a site devoted primarily to female powers and divinities to one in which the former were occluded, marginalized, or erased by the cult of the (apparently) male deity Apollo. This process was reflected in temple sanctuaries throughout the Hellenic world prior to the replacement of both by sites and buildings devoted to Christian worship. Ancient Hellenic sanctuary spaces and forms were semiotically hybrid and unstable, their significance parallactic and ambiguously gendered.

Keywords:: art; landscape; gender; artifice; Greece; religion

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